As part of a push for Learning Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University recently released their learning design tools. I’ve been aware of CMU’s Open Learning Initiative for a suite of reasons, and their tools for separate reasons. And I think both are good. I don’t completely align with their approach, but that’s ok, and I regularly cite their lead as a person who’s provided sage advice about doing good learning design. Further, their push, based upon Herb Simon’s thoughts about improving uni education, is a good one. So what’s going on, and why?
First, let’s be fair, most uni learning design isn’t very good. It’s a lot of content dump, and a test. And, yes, I’m stereotyping. But it’s not all that different from what we see too often in corporate elearning. Not enough practice, and too much content. And we know the reasons for this.